Crochet basics: Create a loop
Almost every single crochet pattern you will ever follow contains the sentence “Draw a loop”. Therefore it is important that you learn early on your crochet journey what this means and how to do it. If you do not see this instruction in a crochet pattern, it is because the designer assumed that you already have sufficient knowledge of how to work the stitches to conclude that this is a step in the process.
Crocheting Is All About Create Loops
In fact, this reminds me of a favorite crochet quote by yarn bomb artist Olek, who says in the introduction to herself on her website: “One loop after the other. Hour after hour, my madness is crochet.”
Crochet is made loop by loop. What you do before and after creating the loops changes the look of the pattern. In some cases, you may pull your loop up differently than normal to create a different stitch (for example, when crocheting with broomstick tips and when crocheting with Solomon’s knot). Regardless, you will always create loops.
What Does It Mean to Create a Crochet Loop?
So if you want to spend much of your crocheting life making loops, it is important that you master this basic skill from the beginning when you learn to crochet. Let’s start by discussing what “making a loop” actually means. It means that you wrap your working yarn around your crochet hook and pull it through the crochet work to create a loop on your hook. This is it. It’s simple – you literally “draw a loop” through the work – a loop that you have created from yarn.
Create a Crochet Loop
Creating a crochet loop involves only a few really simple steps:
- Insert your crochet hook into your next stitch (or space): Where you insert it depends on the stitch you want to make and what your crochet pattern requires you to do, but you always insert the hook somewhere in the work (even if the “work” is only a very short start chain at first.
- Thread over: This is called when you crochet, when you bring your working yarn from behind over the hook. (The crochet abbreviation for this step is “yo”.) You can overgarnish before or after inserting the crochet hook into the stitch (or both). This depends on the stitch you make, which we will discuss in a moment. If you are making a crochet loop, you must insert your hook and then overgarnish.
- Pull through: Pull your crochet hook through your work and bring the yarn from your “yarn over”.
This is it. If you follow these three steps, you have created a loop.
When Is a Crochet Loop Created?
If you look at the basic stitches when crocheting, you will notice that each of them contains the step of drawing a loop. Here are some examples:
- Single crochet: You put your hook into the next stitch, thread it and draw a loop. Repeat this for a series of single crochets.
- Double crochet: Thread over, put your hook in the next stitch, thread again, make a loop. Once you have made this loop, you will have three loops on your hook. You will thread again and pull through the first two loops on your hook. In this way you have essentially created another loop so that there are still two loops on your hook. Thread again and pull through both loops on the hook. There will be one loop on your hook; the loop you just made!
How Big to Create Your Loop
The standard rule of thumb for creating a loop on your hook is to bring it just high enough to sit comfortably on your crochet hook. You can tighten it if it feels too loose. You want all loops to be the same height.
However, as mentioned above, there are some loops that you will draw higher, as this is required in the stitch instructions. One example is broomstick crochet, where you normally draw your loop between 1 and 2 inches high (this varies depending on the pattern instructions). To do this, follow the same steps you always follow when creating a crochet loop. However, if you are “pulling through”, lift your hook over the work (pull it up gently while holding the work in place) to bring it The height of the loop is higher.
Creating Multiple Loops
Finally, it is important to know that many crochet stitches and techniques will ask you to draw several loops on your hook. For example, you can see this in a crochet star stitch where you generally pull six loops on the hook (although this can vary). However, the steps for each loop are the same. Insert hook, pull thread over and pull through.